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At the base of the high mountains in Utah’s Summit County, the settlement of Coalville (known originally as “Chalk Creek”) was founded as a farming town about forty-five miles east of Salt Lake City, where, it was said, wheat grew wild. The original settlers came in 1859--six families who spent their first year in the area living in a cluster of tents, but with the discovery of coal deposits in the surrounding hills, people began moving in, and the village quickly grew. Over the next 20 years, a series of mining ventures produced a wealth of “black gold” for Coalville and the surrounding towns, and by the mid-1870s a railroad was built to carry the valuable resource to Salt Lake City.
Beginning in the 1890s, Coalville saw a number of newspapers come and go. The first was the Coalville Chronicle, which began in 1892, published by E.E. Newell, who closed the paper after less than two years, abandoning his printing press as he skipped town, leaving behind a sizeable debt. A group of prominent Coalville citizens paid the Chronicle’s bills and hired a former staffer from the Salt Lake Tribune, Frank M. Pinneo, as the editor-in-chief of the newly organized Coalville Times.
Under Pinneo, the Times focused on local news and the often fickle mining economy. Published every Friday, the newspaper bore a masthead declaring itself “devoted to the interests of Summit and Morgan Counties.” Front page items often included “newsy notes gathered in by our alert correspondents,” such as the fishing trip of A.J. Pendleton of Salt Lake in July 1894 (no report on how many fish he caught), and the names of persons visiting relatives during the annual Pioneer Day celebration.
Still, plenty of world news found its way onto the pages of the Coalville Times. A regular front page column, “Telegraphic Briefs: The daily list of crimes, casualties and other news from all parts of the world,” carried news of earthquakes in Asia, stone-throwing strikers in Hoboken, and the lynching of an “unknown negro” in Biloxi. Yet the speed of the telegraph could create problems for a paper like the Times. When President William McKinley died on September 14, 1901, eight days earlier, the newspaper carried on the front page that same day: “Telegram just went over the wires to the effect that Pres. McKinley died.” Yet on page 2 of that same edition, the Times declared: “President will recover. Physicians attending the president unhesitatingly say he will live.”
The Coalville Times struggled through the first decade of the 20th century as managers and editors came and went. Pinneo left in 1898 to take a job at the Park Record (a Times competitor), and between 1900 and 1910, the paper went through a number of editorial and publishing shake-ups. Thereafter, the Coalville Times appeared only sporadically until a new ownership group took over and, in 1923, re-named the paper the Summit County Bee.
Provided by: University of Utah, Marriott Library